With Arizona politics an ever-increasing mix of insanity and idiocy, it's nice to know that some folks are still out there fighting the good fight.
Alicia Porter, 24, is busy enough with her full-time job as outreach specialist at the Arizona Science Center and pursuing her master's in museum studies at Arizona State, but she finds time to volunteer with Right to Marry, an Arizona-based human rights organization that seeks to raise awareness for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, staging an event each summer that finds "equality walkers" stepping one mile for every year Arizona has been a state without full legal recognition of its LGBT citizens. But Porter is doing more than walking — she's staging a Right to Marry concert at Trunk Space, featuring some of the most dynamic bands in Phoenix.
Featuring art-rockers Sleep Money, garage combo The Chandails, music/sound collective Sunsang, and classic rockers Treasurefruit, the show stretches across genre lines, a deliberate attempt to not only show off the diversity of the Phoenix scene, but also potentially cross ideological lines, too.
"I realized that I picked diverse groups to put together, but I also wanted there to be something for everyone. There's something there to draw different people from different crowds," she says.
"I think that art and music have always gone hand in hand with many forms of activism over the decades. Art is a great equalizer," Porter says. "Everyone can find something in art or music that inspires them or they can connect to. It's a good way to bring together people that have diverse points of view. And once you have them connecting on one point — art or music they agree on — you can bring them into a space where they start having real conversations about things they disagree on. It's a good way to listen to each other."
"We wanted to play because the show was benefiting a good cause —and that doesn't happen as often as it probably should," N. Hasso of Sleep Money says. The band's dark, rhythmic sound, part new wave/post-punk and part psychedelic juju, will play off the Seeds-like racket of The Chandails, the noise-jazz of Sunsang, and Treasurefruit's idyllic folk (not to mention food courtesy of Ticoz Resto-Bar and Porter herself).
The proceeds of the show will go toward Porter's goal of raising $1,000 for Right to Marry, an organization she's proud to help out.
"After going to a couple of events and seeing everything that they do, and learning more about the rights that are denied to the people of Arizona, I really felt like it was something I wanted to be involved in," she says. "I'm pretty new, but I knew this would be a good way to jump in and get involved."